World primary Iga Swiatek leads the sector in an Australian Open ladies’s draw shorn of a few of its largest latest stars. Ashleigh Barty, who lifted the trophy 12 months in the past, and Serena Williams have retired, whereas the 2019 and 2021 winner Naomi Osaka has pulled out.
Listed here are the highest 5 gamers to observe:
Iga Swiatek– The 21-year-old seized her alternative after the retirement of Barty to dominate 2022, securing eight WTA titles and turning into the primary girl in six years to win two Grand Slams in the identical season — at Roland Garros and New York. After dropping the Australian Open semi-final to Danielle Collins, Poland’s Swiatek didn’t look again.
She lifted the trophy in Doha a month later to kick-start an unbelievable 37-match profitable streak that solely ended within the third spherical at Wimbledon 5 months later. Swiatek started this 12 months’s Australian Open build-up with three straight-sets victories within the United Cup.
However a 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Jessica Pegula within the semi-final left Swiatek in tears, complaining she felt “helpless” and unable to indicate up “bodily and mentally”.
Ons Jabeur– The Tunisian world quantity two seems to be on the cusp of a Grand Slam breakthrough, having been runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open final 12 months. The 28-year-old has set herself a 2023 goal of toppling Swiatek from the primary rating and turning into the primary Arab and African girl to win a Slam.
Late bloomer Jabeur was 26 when she lifted her maiden WTA title in 2021 at Birmingham, including Madrid and Berlin trophies final 12 months. “I am not somebody that is going to surrender,” vowed Jabeur after dropping the US Open closing to Swiatek.
Jessica Pegula– The 28-year-old world quantity three comes into Melbourne Park after starring for the victorious USA workforce on the United Cup, the place she received 4 of her 5 matches and beat Swiatek. Pegula, whose mother and father are the billionaire homeowners of the Buffalo Payments NFL franchise, reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2021 and final 12 months, the place she was outclassed by a rampant Barty.
With Barty out of the way in which she might show the largest problem to Swiatek. The straightforward-going Pegula admitted final 12 months to spending time stress-free on the blackjack desk in a Melbourne on line casino.
Aryna Sabalenka– The explosive Belarusian promised she could be up for a “large combat” on the Australian Open after profitable in Adelaide this month for the eleventh WTA title of her profession. The 24-year-old left-hander sprung again into type final season, reaching the semi-final on the US Open and the WTA Tour finals championship match, the place she misplaced to Caroline Garcia.
Sabalenka can undergo vastly from nerves, which had been all too apparent at her two season-opening tournaments in Australia final 12 months when she was lowered to tears as her serve collapsed.
Coco Gauff– The 18-year-old American goes into Melbourne Park on a excessive after profitable her third WTA title on the Auckland Traditional this month. The world quantity seven first received hearts as a 15-year-old in 2019 at Wimbledon when she arrived as a qualifier and reached the final 16, beating five-time champion Venus Williams alongside the way in which.
Her exploits sparked “Coco Mania” and she or he went on to win her first WTA title that 12 months together with her second coming in 2021, a 12 months through which she beat Barty in Rome.
Final 12 months her upward trajectory gathered tempo as she reached her first Grand Slam closing, dropping to Swiatek at Roland Garros.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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